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J. Fungi, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2017) – 14 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) A third of adults with AIDS and cryptococcal meningitis (CM) develop immune reconstitution [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview
Mode of Infection of Metarhizium spp. Fungus and Their Potential as Biological Control Agents
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020030 - 07 Jun 2017
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2424
Abstract
Chemical insecticides have been commonly used to control agricultural pests, termites, and biological vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks. However, the harmful impacts of toxic chemical insecticides on the environment, the development of resistance in pests and vectors towards chemical insecticides, and public [...] Read more.
Chemical insecticides have been commonly used to control agricultural pests, termites, and biological vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks. However, the harmful impacts of toxic chemical insecticides on the environment, the development of resistance in pests and vectors towards chemical insecticides, and public concern have driven extensive research for alternatives, especially biological control agents such as fungus and bacteria. In this review, the mode of infection of Metarhizium fungus on both terrestrial and aquatic insect larvae and how these interactions have been widely employed will be outlined. The potential uses of Metarhizium anisopliae and Metarhizium acridum biological control agents and molecular approaches to increase their virulence will be discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Isolation of Ovicidal Fungi from Fecal Samples of Captive Animals Maintained in a Zoological Park
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020029 - 02 Jun 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1782
Abstract
Abstract: There are certain saprophytic fungi in the soil able to develop an antagonistic effect against eggs of parasites. Some of these fungal species are ingested by animals during grazing, and survive in their feces after passing through the digestive tract. To [...] Read more.
Abstract: There are certain saprophytic fungi in the soil able to develop an antagonistic effect against eggs of parasites. Some of these fungal species are ingested by animals during grazing, and survive in their feces after passing through the digestive tract. To identify and isolate ovicidal fungi in the feces of wild captive animals, a total of 60 fecal samples were taken from different wild animals kept captive in the Marcelle Natureza Zoological Park (Lugo, Spain). After the serial culture of the feces onto Petri dishes with different media, their parasicitide activity was assayed against eggs of trematodes (Calicophoron daubneyi) and ascarids (Parascaris equorum). Seven fungal genera were identified in the feces. Isolates from Fusarium, Lecanicillium, Mucor, Trichoderma, and Verticillium showed an ovicidal effect classified as type 3, because of their ability to adhere to the eggshell, penetrate, and damage permanently the inner embryo. Penicillium and Gliocladium developed a type 1 effect (hyphae attach to the eggshell but morphological damage was not provoked). These results provide very interesting and useful information about fungi susceptible for being used in biological control procedures against parasites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monocyte Phenotype and IFN-γ-Inducible Cytokine Responses Are Associated with Cryptococcal Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020028 - 02 Jun 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
A third of adults with AIDS and cryptococcal meningitis (CM) develop immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) after initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART), which is thought to result from exaggerated inflammatory antigen-specific T cell responses. The contribution of monocytes to the immunopathogenesis of cryptococcal IRIS [...] Read more.
A third of adults with AIDS and cryptococcal meningitis (CM) develop immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) after initiating antiretroviral therapy (ART), which is thought to result from exaggerated inflammatory antigen-specific T cell responses. The contribution of monocytes to the immunopathogenesis of cryptococcal IRIS remains unclear. We compared monocyte subset frequencies and immune responses in HIV-infected Ugandans at time of CM diagnosis (IRIS-Baseline) for those who later developed CM-IRIS, controls who did not develop CM-IRIS (Control-Baseline) at CM-IRIS (IRIS-Event), and for controls at a time point matched for ART duration (Control-Event) to understand the association of monocyte distribution and immune responses with cryptococcal IRIS. At baseline, stimulation with IFN-γ ex vivo induced a higher frequency of TNF-α- and IL-6-producing monocytes among those who later developed IRIS. Among participants who developed IRIS, ex vivo IFN-γ stimulation induced higher frequencies of activated monocytes, IL-6+, TNF-α+ classical, and IL-6+ intermediate monocytes compared with controls. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that monocyte subset phenotype and cytokine responses prior to ART are associated with and may be predictive of CM-IRIS. Larger studies to further delineate innate immunological responses and the efficacy of immunomodulatory therapies during cryptococcal IRIS are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host–Fungus Interactions)
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Open AccessArticle
MIC Distributions and Evaluation of Fungicidal Activity for Amphotericin B, Itraconazole, Voriconazole, Posaconazole and Caspofungin and 20 Species of Pathogenic Filamentous Fungi Determined Using the CLSI Broth Microdilution Method
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020027 - 31 May 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1842
Abstract
For filamentous fungi (moulds), species-specific interpretive breakpoints and epidemiological cut-off values (ECVs) have only been proposed for a limited number of fungal species–antifungal agent combinations, with the result that clinical breakpoints are lacking for most emerging mould pathogens. In the current study, we [...] Read more.
For filamentous fungi (moulds), species-specific interpretive breakpoints and epidemiological cut-off values (ECVs) have only been proposed for a limited number of fungal species–antifungal agent combinations, with the result that clinical breakpoints are lacking for most emerging mould pathogens. In the current study, we have compiled minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) data for 4869 clinical mould isolates and present full MIC distributions for amphotericin B, itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, and caspofungin with these isolates which comprise 20 species/genera. In addition, we present the results of an assessment of the fungicidal activity of these same five antifungal agents against a panel of 123 mould isolates comprising 16 of the same species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Susceptibility Testing)
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Open AccessArticle
Innate and Adaptive Immune Defects in Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020026 - 29 May 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2590
Abstract
We evaluated the expression of biomarkers of innate and adaptive immune response in correlation with underlying conditions in 144 patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). Patients with complete medical and radiological records, white cell counts, and a complete panel of CD3, CD4, CD8, [...] Read more.
We evaluated the expression of biomarkers of innate and adaptive immune response in correlation with underlying conditions in 144 patients with chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA). Patients with complete medical and radiological records, white cell counts, and a complete panel of CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, and CD56 lymphocyte subsets were included. Eighty-four (58%) patients had lymphopenia. Six (4%) patients had lymphopenia in all five CD variables. There were 62 (43%) patients with low CD56 and 62 (43%) patients with low CD19. Ten (7%) patients had isolated CD19 lymphopenia, 18 (13%) had isolated CD56 lymphopenia, and 15 (10%) had combined CD19 and CD56 lymphopenia only. Forty-eight (33%) patients had low CD3 and 46 (32%) had low CD8 counts. Twenty-five (17%) patients had low CD4, 15 (10%) of whom had absolute CD4 counts <200/μL. Multivariable logistic regression showed associations between: low CD19 and pulmonary sarcoidosis (Odds Ratio (OR), 5.53; 95% Confidence Interval (CI), 1.43–21.33; p = 0.013), and emphysema (OR, 4.58; 95% CI; 1.36–15.38; p = 0.014), low CD56 and no bronchiectasis (OR, 0.27; 95% CI, 0.10–0.77; p = 0.014), low CD3 and both multicavitary CPA disease (OR, 2.95; 95% CI, 1.30–6.72; p = 0.010) and pulmonary sarcoidosis (OR, 4.94; 95% CI, 1.39–17.57; p = 0.014). Several subtle immune defects are found in CPA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host–Fungus Interactions)
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Open AccessReview
NK Cells and Their Role in Invasive Mold Infection
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020025 - 19 May 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1248
Abstract
There is growing evidence that Natural Killer (NK) cells exhibit in vitro activity against both Aspergillus and non-Aspergillus molds. Cytotoxic molecules such as NK cell-derived perforin seem to play an important role in the antifungal activity. In addition, NK cells release a [...] Read more.
There is growing evidence that Natural Killer (NK) cells exhibit in vitro activity against both Aspergillus and non-Aspergillus molds. Cytotoxic molecules such as NK cell-derived perforin seem to play an important role in the antifungal activity. In addition, NK cells release a number of cytokines upon stimulation by fungi, which modulate both innate and adaptive host immune responses. Whereas the in vitro data of the antifungal activity of NK cells are supported by animal studies, clinical data are scarce to date. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host–Fungus Interactions)
Open AccessReview
Revisiting Species Distribution and Antifungal Susceptibility of Candida Bloodstream Isolates from Latin American Medical Centers
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020024 - 17 May 2017
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2197
Abstract
The epidemiology of candidemia varies geographically, and there is still scarce data on the epidemiology of candidemia in Latin America (LA). After extensive revision of medical literature, we found reliable and robust information on the microbiological aspects of candidemia in patients from 11 [...] Read more.
The epidemiology of candidemia varies geographically, and there is still scarce data on the epidemiology of candidemia in Latin America (LA). After extensive revision of medical literature, we found reliable and robust information on the microbiological aspects of candidemia in patients from 11 out of 21 medical centers from LA countries and 1 out of 20 from Caribbean countries/territories. Based on 40 papers attending our search strategy, we noted that C. albicans remains the most common species causing candidemia in our region, followed by C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis. In Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia, a trend towards an increase in frequency of C. glabrata candidemia was observed. Although resistance rates to fluconazole is under 3%, there was a slight increase in the resistance rates to C. albicans, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis isolates. Echinocandin resistance has been reported in a few surveys, but no single study confirmed the resistant phenotype reported by using molecular methods. We highlight the importance of conducting continuous surveillance studies to identify new trends in terms of species distribution of Candida and antifungal resistance related to episodes of candidemia in LA. This information is critical for helping clinicians to prevent and control Candida bloodstream infections in their medical centers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infections in the Developing World)
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Open AccessArticle
Local-Level Genetic Diversity and Structure of Matsutake Mushroom (Tricholoma matsutake) Populations in Nagano Prefecture, Japan, Revealed by 15 Microsatellite Markers
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020023 - 11 May 2017
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1732
Abstract
The annual yield of matsutake mushrooms (Tricholoma matsutake) has consistently decreased in Japan over the past few decades. We used 15 polymorphic and codominant simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, developed using next-generation sequencing, to carry out genetic analyses of 10 populations [...] Read more.
The annual yield of matsutake mushrooms (Tricholoma matsutake) has consistently decreased in Japan over the past few decades. We used 15 polymorphic and codominant simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, developed using next-generation sequencing, to carry out genetic analyses of 10 populations in Nagano, Japan. Using the SSRs, we identified 223 genotypes, none of which was observed in more than one population. The mean expected heterozygosity and standardized allelic richness values were 0.67 and 4.05, respectively. Many alleles appeared in only one of the 10 populations; 34 of these private alleles were detected with a mean number per population of 3.4. The fixation index (FST) and standardized genetic differentiation (GST) values were 0.019 and 0.028, respectively. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that the contribution of among population, among genets within a population, and within genets variation to the total variation was 2.91%, 11.62%, and 85.47%, respectively, with genetic differentiation being detected for all sources. Twenty-eight of 45 pairwise FST values were significantly larger than zero, and no pattern of isolation by distance was detected among the 10 populations. Bayesian-based clustering did not show clear differences among populations. These results suggest that reestablishment of a colony would be best accomplished by transplantation within a field; if this is not possible, then transplantation from within several dozen kilometers will cause little damage to the original population genetic structure. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Fungal Biofilms and Polymicrobial Diseases
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020022 - 10 May 2017
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2762
Abstract
Biofilm formation is an important virulence factor for pathogenic fungi. Both yeasts and filamentous fungi can adhere to biotic and abiotic surfaces, developing into highly organized communities that are resistant to antimicrobials and environmental conditions. In recent years, new genera of fungi have [...] Read more.
Biofilm formation is an important virulence factor for pathogenic fungi. Both yeasts and filamentous fungi can adhere to biotic and abiotic surfaces, developing into highly organized communities that are resistant to antimicrobials and environmental conditions. In recent years, new genera of fungi have been correlated with biofilm formation. However, Candida biofilms remain the most widely studied from the morphological and molecular perspectives. Biofilms formed by yeast and filamentous fungi present differences, and studies of polymicrobial communities have become increasingly important. A key feature of resistance is the extracellular matrix, which covers and protects biofilm cells from the surrounding environment. Furthermore, to achieve cell–cell communication, microorganisms secrete quorum-sensing molecules that control their biological activities and behaviors and play a role in fungal resistance and pathogenicity. Several in vitro techniques have been developed to study fungal biofilms, from colorimetric methods to omics approaches that aim to identify new therapeutic strategies by developing new compounds to combat these microbial communities as well as new diagnostic tools to identify these complex formations in vivo. In this review, recent advances related to pathogenic fungal biofilms are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Biofilms)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantitative Assessment of Grapevine Wood Colonization by the Dieback Fungus Eutypa lata
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020021 - 06 May 2017
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2159
Abstract
Eutypa lata is a fungal pathogen causing severe dieback in vineyards worldwide. This fungus colonizes vines through pruning wounds, eventually causing a brown sectorial necrosis in wood as well as stunted vegetative growth. Several years may pass between infection and the expression of [...] Read more.
Eutypa lata is a fungal pathogen causing severe dieback in vineyards worldwide. This fungus colonizes vines through pruning wounds, eventually causing a brown sectorial necrosis in wood as well as stunted vegetative growth. Several years may pass between infection and the expression of external symptoms, hindering the rapid evaluation of both grapevine cultivars susceptibility and E. lata variation in aggressiveness. We aimed to develop a rapid quantitative method for the assessment of wood colonization after inoculation of cuttings in controlled conditions. We used several grape cultivars varying in susceptibility in the vineyard and fungal isolates with different levels of aggressiveness to monitor wood colonization during a maximum period of 2 months. Re-isolation allowed demonstration of the effects of both cultivars and fungal isolates on the rate of wood colonization. We also developed a real-time PCR method that was efficient in measuring fungal biomass, which was found to be correlated with isolate aggressiveness based on foliar symptom severity. The real-time PCR approach appears to be a useful technology to evaluate grapevine susceptibility to E. lata, and could be adapted to other pathogens associated with grapevine trunk diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Pathogenic Fungi and Oomycetes)
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of In Vitro Antifungal Activities of Efinaconazole and Itraconazole against Common Non-Dermatophyte Fungi Causing Onychomycosis
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020020 - 05 May 2017
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1707
Abstract
Onychomycosis is a fungal nail infection which is relatively common and difficult to treat. Treatment modalities include nail avulsion, surgical debridement and combination therapy with oral and topical antifungal drugs. In spite of a host of available drugs, clinical cure rates remain discouraging. [...] Read more.
Onychomycosis is a fungal nail infection which is relatively common and difficult to treat. Treatment modalities include nail avulsion, surgical debridement and combination therapy with oral and topical antifungal drugs. In spite of a host of available drugs, clinical cure rates remain discouraging. Drug toxicities, prolonged regimens, lack of patient compliance, and high keratin affinity of drugs are all contributive factors. Efinaconazole is a novel topical triazole antifungal agent that has shown excellent in vitro activity against both dermatophyte and non-dermatophyte fungi causing onychomycosis. This study presents the in vitro susceptibility profiles of 44 common non-dermatophyte fungi against efinaconazole and itraconazole, another azole drug used in the treatment of onychomycosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Susceptibility Testing)
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Open AccessReview
Antifungal Susceptibility Testing of Fusarium: A Practical Approach
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020019 - 26 Apr 2017
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2185
Abstract
In vitro susceptibility testing of Fusarium is becoming increasingly important because of frequency and diversity of infections and because resistance profiles are species-specific. Reference methods for antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) are those of Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and European Committee on [...] Read more.
In vitro susceptibility testing of Fusarium is becoming increasingly important because of frequency and diversity of infections and because resistance profiles are species-specific. Reference methods for antifungal susceptibility testing (AFST) are those of Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility (EUCAST), but breakpoints (BPs) have not yet been established. One of the problems is that phylogenetic distances between Fusarium species are much smaller than between species of, e.g., Candida. Epidemiological cutoff values (ECVs) for some Fusarium species have been determined in order to differentiate wild-type from non-wild-type isolates. In clinical routine, commercially available assays such as Etest, Sensititre or others provide essential agreement with reference methods. Our objective is to summarize antifungal susceptibility testing of Fusarium genus in the clinical laboratory: how to do it, when to do it, and how to interpret it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Susceptibility Testing)
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Open AccessReview
Reduced Multidrug Susceptibility Profile Is a Common Feature of Opportunistic Fusarium Species: Fusarium Multi-Drug Resistant Pattern
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020018 - 10 Apr 2017
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1517
Abstract
The resistance among various opportunistic Fusarium species to different antifungal agents has emerged as a cause of public health problems worldwide. Considering the significance of multi-drug resistant (MDR), this paper emphasizes the problems associated with MDR and the need to understand its clinical [...] Read more.
The resistance among various opportunistic Fusarium species to different antifungal agents has emerged as a cause of public health problems worldwide. Considering the significance of multi-drug resistant (MDR), this paper emphasizes the problems associated with MDR and the need to understand its clinical significance to combat microbial infections. The search platform PubMed/MEDLINE and a review of 32 cases revealed a common multidrug-resistant profile exists, and clinically relevant members of Fusarium are intrinsically resistant to most currently used antifungals. Dissemination occurs in patients with prolonged neutropenia, immune deficiency, and especially hematological malignancies. Amphotericin B displayed the lowest minimum inhibitory concentrarions (MICs) followed by voriconazole, and posaconazole. Itraconazole and fluconazole showed high MIC values, displaying in vitro resistance. Echinocandins showed the highest MIC values. Seven out of ten (70%) patients with neutropenia died, including those with fungemia that progressed to skin lesions. Clinical Fusarium isolates displayed a common MDR profile and high MIC values for the most available antifungal agents with species- and strain-specific differences in antifungal susceptibility. Species identification of Fusarium infections is important. While the use of natamycin resulted in a favorable outcome in keratitis, AmB and VRC are the most used agents for the treatment of fusariosis in clinical settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Susceptibility Testing)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Identification and Antifungal Susceptibility Patterns of Clinical Dermatophytes Following CLSI and EUCAST Guidelines
J. Fungi 2017, 3(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof3020017 - 23 Mar 2017
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1711
Abstract
Dermatophytes are associated with superficial infections in humans worldwide. The aim of the present study was to determine the species distribution and susceptibility patterns of clinical dermatophytes. Samples received for routine mycological processing from 124 suspected cases attending a dermatologic clinic in a [...] Read more.
Dermatophytes are associated with superficial infections in humans worldwide. The aim of the present study was to determine the species distribution and susceptibility patterns of clinical dermatophytes. Samples received for routine mycological processing from 124 suspected cases attending a dermatologic clinic in a tertiary care hospital were included in the study. On direct microscopy, 74.1% (92/124) were positive and 53.2% (66/124) grew on culture. The isolates were comprised of Trichophyton interdigitale (56%) followed by Trichophyton tonsurans (25.7%), Trichophyton rubrum (7.5%), Trichophyton violaceum (4.5%), Microsporum gypseum (4.5%), and Trichophyton verrucosum (1.5%). Conventional mycological identification was concordant with ITS sequencing except for T. mentagrophytes. High minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values (geometric mean, >1 µg/mL) were observed for T. tonsurans and T. rubrum to terbinafine and griseofulvin. This study highlights the shift in epidemiology from T. rubrum to T. interdigitale. It also raises a concern of high MICs of terbinafine and griseofulvin among our isolates. Surveillance of antifungal susceptibility patterns can provide clinicians with local MIC data that can further aid in guiding better management in relapse cases of dermatomycosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antifungal Susceptibility Testing)
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